The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT, hereafter the Guidelines) are the most comprehensive global instrument that provides guidance to states and nonstate actors on how to promote responsible governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests. The top United Nations (UN) body in matters of food security, the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) unanimously endorsed the Guidelines on 11 May 2012. That CFS endorsement followed two years of extensive consultations and one year of intergovernmental negotiations leading to the final text of the Guidelines. With the endorsement of the Guidelines, there is now widespread consensus on the elements of desirable action to improve the governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests. The challenge is to translate the guidance contained in the Guidelines into actual improvements in the governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests.
This technical guide aims to assist implementation of the Guidelines. It provides guidance on how to use the law to promote responsible governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests. There is recognition in the Guidelines that the law is an
important vehicle for translating international standards into real change. For example, the Guidelines provide guidance on features of legal frameworks, on lawmaking processes and on legal assistance for vulnerable groups (see Box 1.1 for a few examples).